|Mishima, Shizuoka prefecture, Japan|
Unique Checkerboard Moats of Yamanaka Castle
|Type||Yamajiro-style Japanese castle|
|Built by||Hōjō Ujiyasu|
|In use||Sengoku period|
|Battles/wars||Siege of Odawara (1590)|
Earthen works of Yamanaka Castle
Yamanaka Castle (山中城 Yamanaka-jō ) was a Sengoku period yamajiro-style Japanese castle, built by the Odawara Hōjō clan in Tagata District, Izu Province, in what is now eastern Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.
Yamanaka Castle was built by Hōjō Ujiyasu in the Eiroku era (1558–1577), to guard the western approaches to the clan’s primary castle, Odawara Castle. The site was also chosen for its strategic location overlooking the Tōkaidō, the main highway connecting the eastern provinces of Japan with the capital at Kyoto. Despite the growing tension between the Late Hōjō clan and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, only a modest attempt was made to strength the defenses of the castle. During the 1590 Battle of Odawara, Toyotomi Hidetsugu led a force of 70,000 warriors against Yamanaka Castle, which was defended by Hōjō Ujikatsu with only 4,000 troops. Despite the disparity in numbers, the Toyotomi forces took heavy losses, including one general, Hitotsuyanagi Naosue; however, the castle fell in only a half day of combat and most of its defenders were killed.
Yamanaka Castle was not rebuilt during the Edo period, and the site reverted to forest. The remains of its moats and earthen works were proclaimed a National Historic Site in 1930.
In 2006, the site of Yamanaka Castle was listed as one of the 100 Fine Castles of Japan by the Japan Castle Foundation, primarily due to its historical significance.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yamanaka Castle.|
- Schmorleitz, Morton S. (1974). Castles in Japan. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Co.. pp. 144–145. ISBN 0-8048-1102-4.
- Motoo, Hinago (1986). Japanese Castles. Tokyo: Kodansha. p. 200 pages. ISBN 0-87011-766-1.
- Turnbull, Stephen (2003). Japanese Castles 1540-1640. Osprey Publishing. p. 64 pages. ISBN 1-84176-429-9.
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